Want some odd variety? How about the movies I saw this weekend?

Sumurun (1920) Silent, B&W
Nightbreed (1990) Fantasy Horror
Hot Fuzz (2007) Action Comedy

I think the less I say about Hot Fuzz the better since a lot of people loved the film and my feelings on it are ambivalent.

In general, I sympathized overmuch with the protagonist and his situation, the profanity and gore felt like something out of a “Hollywood Dork Age,” and the film’s revelations (everybody did it, victims killed for petty reasons) weren’t especially new to me.

The film did make me laugh out loud though, which is rare enough — hence my ambivalence. It was funny, I’m just having a hard time reconciling the things I enjoyed about the film with the things I didn’t like. One thing I can say in its favor was that the use of humor made the horror feel “more real.”

Nighbreed is a cult classic, and it has Clive Barker’s name on it which is about as telling as a movie having Michael Bay’s name on it — all of his works have the “Clive Barker Touch,” which I’ll admit I’ve enjoyed enough thus far.

I think I’ve seen the first five or six Hellraiser films — which he’s worked on to varying degrees — and Candyman, thanks to an insistent roommate.

I haven’t really made up my mind about Nightbreed, I’m hesitant to praise the film just because I liked some elements — it hit the mark for me.

Really, I think the most obnoxious thing about the movie I can recall was the sudden and inexplicable “prophesy” that cropped up in the film’s third Act. However this wasn’t important to the plot it was almost “just a scene” but I wonder why it was there since it wasn’t important.

It wasn’t a movie about fate so the prophesy had a “lolwut” effect.

The strongest impression that the film left on me was probably a bit of sadness that — as is common enough in films about prejudice of any kind — it can’t seem to make its protagonists sympathetic without also demonizing its antagonists — which in this case were traditional figures of authority (church and police).

I would have preferred a sadness born of, “look at all this misunderstanding” rather than, “look at these jerks picking on a supernatural minority.”

It was similar to the feeling I had watching (blue people) Avatar when I didn’t understand why the General Ripper had to be a villain. It felt passe.

Our world is so much more complicated than that.

Where was I going with this?

I’m still thinking about Nightbreed, I guess.

Sumurun was the only film of the three which I enjoyed without question. Silent films are a fairly recent guilty pleasure of mine. They tickle the “mystery” centers of my brain because the stories are unfamiliar to me and you have to watch them to figure out what’s going on. It’s a more “elemental” type of film.

There’s scattered dialogue and the music gives you clues but — and this bears repeating — you have to watch a silent film to understand the story.